Answering the phone for a CBN Asia Special
Perhaps it was my mother who encouraged me to reach out and help others especially fellow believers when I was younger. I was in 6th grade when I first volunteered to be an interpreter/translator for a group of Kiwi youth missionaries while they were doing a crusade in a nearby barangay(village) in our town.
Then I became an active (girl) scout in high school and volunteering is a huge part of the movement. We cleaned streets, planted trees, visited orphanages, distributed relief goods as part of our regular activities and to earn badges.
But I think it was in college that my passion for volunteering went into full bloom! I started stepping-out and initiated more often. I became a regular volunteer or member of Christian organizations such as Youth With a Mission (YWAM), MV Doulos (Operation Mobilisation Ships) and the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF).
|Cleaning-up shores in Sorsogon with YWAMers|
Although I don't have as much time and energy now I still volunteer whenever possible, mostly in our local church, for various organizations and events such as Fish Festival.
I've found many benefits to volunteering (although I am not after what I can get when I volunteer). The reason why I volunteer first and foremost is to HELP. My life slogan has always been to serve God by being a blessing and an inspiration to people. Volunteering is one of the ways I can apply it.
I wish I can encourage more people to volunteer by stating some of the reasons why I love doing it:
1. Paying it forward. I've been helped, inspired and encouraged by countless people my entire life. I was able to attend camps through donors, finished a college degree via my aunt's generous help and overcame obstacles because of the prayers of my churchmates. By helping others is my way of saying thank you and I appreciate the people that the Lord has used as channels of His blessings.
2. Investing in someone's life and possibly changing their future. I have a very high regard for teachers and mentors, especially unpaid Sunday school or volunteer vacation Bible school (VBS) teachers. The people that planted the seed of the gospel in my life were the VBS teachers from the Nazarene church. Every Summer my mother (who's a firm believer of education) encouraged us to attend their VBS in order to continue learning and being productive while school is close. I don't remember everything they taught us during those scorching days, but I carry in my heart the dedication and patience they had for a bunch of raunchy kids.
|Aboard the MV Doulos ship selling books and doing outreach programs with MV Doulos staff and fellow volunteers|
3. Gaining friends and contacts. I've lost count of the wonderful people that became my friends, brothers and sisters, sources, go-to-people that I've met and worked with through volunteering. Before the social media sites (Friendster, Multiply, Facebook etc.) became popular I was banking on my connections for information, guest hunting and ideas for my radio shows and articles. They were my saving grace!
4. Experience. Here in the US, previous volunteer work can be included in your job employment history. What better way to fill out not just your resume but your time and life than by helping others.
5. The perks! It's a rare occasion when volunteers get paid (yes, there are volunteers who do get stipend or renumeration) but there are other perks that you get as a volunteer. If you work for concert organizers or radio stations, most of the time you'll get back stage or media pass to performances or an opportunity to meet celebs. You also get goodies like t-shirts, bags, CD's or books.
Since most volunteers don't get paid, org's try to at least provide their meals= FREE FOOD or even transportation.
|Meet and greet with Ptr. Louie Giglio and Matt Redman before a concert|
6. Lessons learned. It's a blessing to give than to receive so says the Bible. When we were younger and money was nowhere in sight borrowing from family/friends for food or school was the only option not to succumb to poverty or worse, crime. I remember how humiliating and belittling the experience was, nonetheless it pushed me to work hard and finish school. I made a commitment to myself that one day the roles will be reversed. I will be in the side that's extending help and not getting it (not that there's something wrong being helped.)
7. It could lead to greater things. By volunteering to write, I was able to publish my first book. By volunteering to produce and host a 30 minute talk show called Pauro-Ayahay (Siesta/rest time), I landed my first job. By volunteering as interpreter, I honed my English language and communication skills and now I'm married to a foreigner. Volunteering could unveil your potentials, skills, personality and could even open doors for you.
My first book- Eating With One Chopstick
Don't miss out being a blessing and being blessed - volunteer!
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:10 ESV
|Gary V and Sonicflood front man - some of the artists I've met and interviewed while working for FEBC.|
With Ms. Coney Reyes of CBN Asia
With Purpose Driven Life author, Ptr. Rick Warren during Fish Festival